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Monday, February 22, 2010

ChocolateCoffeeCake with Chocolate Glaze

Today I felt like making something sweet that reminded me of home and my Grandmother at the same time. My Grandma used to make a cake we called "Black Chocolate Cake" and she made it for me everytime we came on vacation. The other sweet I remembered was a piece of cake we used to buy at a bakery in downtown Schaffhausen called Aschinger. It was called "Studentenschnitte" which loosely translated means "Students Slices". It is a slice of chocolate cake with a bit of crunch in it, that is covered with a chocolate and powdered sugar white glaze.

My hubby went out with friends so I got to work. I grabbed my Grandma's recipe and went to town, measuring and calculating ingredients. So I pretty much mixed the things I remembered together.

For the cake batter:

2 eggs (separate egg yolk and egg whites)
100 g unsalted butter
160 g flour
50 g ground almonds
50 g bread crumbs
300 g confectioners (powdered) sugar
4 Tbs cocoa powder
3 Tbs ground coffee beans
250 ml milk coffee
Splash of rum or amaretto
Splash of vanilla essence
1 Ts Cinnamon
14 g baking powder

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare round cake pan so cake won't stick. I butter it first and then pour some bread crumbs in it, swing it around and bread crumbs will stick to the butter. Shake off the excess and set aside

Separate eggs and beat egg whites until little peaks form, you can tell it's ready when you can turn the bowl upside down and the egg white doesn't come out.

Mix bread crumbs, cocoa, ground coffee beans and ground almonds in a bowl and set aside. Then mix butter, egg yolk and sugar until fluffy, add in rum/amaretto and vanilla essence. Little by little add flour, baking powder, liquid and bread crumb mixture. Once all ingredients are mixed gently fold in egg whites.

Pour into prepared cake pan and bake in pre-heated oven for about an 50 minutes to an hour. You can test if the cake is done by sticking a wooden skewer in it. If it comes out clean the cake is done.

Before applying the glaze I covered it with apricot jelly. To spread it better you need to thin it out a bit and maybe you have to put it through a sieve to get an even consistency. So just take a couple of tablespoons of apricot jelly, a little bit of water and heat in the microwave, stir until combined then pour on the cake and let dry for 15 minutes.

Now you're ready to glaze your cake. You can use a store bought chocolate glaze or you can make one. Mine was very easy

150 g dark chocolate
50 g unsalted butter
50 g powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbs water

Melt chocolate, butter, sugar and water in a thin walled bowl over a pan of barely boiling water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Once it smoothly runs over a turned spoon it is ready to go on the cake.

Just pour on the cake and tilt cake from left to right to cover cake evenly. Do not use a knife or spatula, it will prevent the cake from being shiny. Let dry and then serve with some whipped cream and a nice cup of coffee!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Orange-Garlic Chicken with Almond Rice Pilaf

Not knowing what to make for dinner and refusing to cook the same old grilled chicken breast I wanted to come up with something I've never done before. And I did, at first I was a bit worried if Hubby would like it or if it would even come out good, but WOW! Delicious! Even better, it's easy as pie to make.

It was kind of hot out yesterday so I thought that I could use some citrusy flavors in our dinner. So here is what you need:

3 to 4 Chicken Breasts (skinless & boneless)
rinse and pat dry

For the Marinade:

3 large cloves of garlic (pressed through a garlic press)
1 Serrano Pepper (cut finely)
1 Orange Zest and Juice
Fresh ground Black Pepper
Red Pepper flakes
3 tablespoons Olive Oil

Mix the ingredients in a cup or bowl well, place chicken breast in a re-sealable bag, pour in the marinade, shake so meat is covered well, and refrigerate, turning occasionally for about 1 hour or longer.

For the rice:

1/2 large Yellow Onion (or small whole Onion), finely chopped
2 tablespoons Butter
1.5 cups Rice (rinse well until water runs clear)
1.5 cups Chicken stock
1 cup Orange Juice
1/2 cup sliced or slivered Almonds

I used my rice cooker to do this, so you might have to adjust the liquids to the measurements of your rice cooker.

Melt the butter. add chopped onion, almonds and let sweat for a couple of minutes until onion looks transparent, add the rice and liquids to the measurement of your rice cooker, 3 parts stock to 2 parts orange juice, set to cook. You'll see the almonds will add a nice crunch to the rice and it's just lovely!

When your rice is almost done, start up your grill to get it nice and hot. Place your marinated Chicken on the grill, turning over once or twice while brushing with the marinate, until done.

Serve with a nice salad and a crisp white or rose wine!

DELICIOUS! Bon Apetit! Mahlzeit! En Guete!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


so I made these cookies before Xmas and sent them to Tylyn (my step-daughter, God I hate that word). I'll just call her my daughter from now on, cause that's how I see her anyways. She called me today and told me how they are heavenly and delicious and everything in-between. So this weekend I'm going to make some more and ship them to her..... And I might even show you guys a picture. Not sure if I want to give you all the recipe, cause it's kind of a family heirloom.... But if you're lucky you might be able to order them someday.... who knows.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Movie Night

Julie & JuliaJulie & Julia
Finally yesterday we got to see this movie and I LOVED IT! Meryl Streep is fantastic in it. Oh and it made me want to cook, go take classes, hate that I couldn't afford to go to culinary school..... Argh! Now I want to go and pick a famous chef and cook all their recipe's, but maybe I should just choose one of the books I have at home and start from there.... but then, I hardly ever follow a recipe completely....

What do you think? Anyone has any suggerstions?

Bocuse in Your Kitchen: Simple French Recipes for the Home ChefHighlightsHow about Paul Bocuse or Eckart Witzigmann? Or I have a collection of recipes from Austria? I'll go on an expedition and find the perfect book.

Update on the Shrimp

Well, I really wanted to make spinach and rice but I was in a hurry and totally forgot to get fresh spinach, on top of that we'd had rice just the night before so I thought I'd make something different for a change and broke out the package of Quick Grits I had sitting in my pantry......

I've heard of shrimp and grits before, so why not try it right? But instead of just leaving the way they are, I had to put my own little spin on it. Of course, I can never make something just the way the package says it and leave it that way. It's always something with me.

Ok, well I started measuring out the grits and water, just like its described on the package, but once I got the grits cooking, I ended up putting some saffron in it, to give it a beautiful, deep yellow color, a dab of butter and a sprinkle of parmesan....... OH YUM! That tasted delicious.....

Instead of the spinach I made some steamed broccoli and gave those a quick toss in some garlic butter...

There was the dinner..... Quick, easy and different from the usual fare....

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grilled Tiger Shrimp with Spinach and Saffron Rice

So yesterday I went to the grocery store and these really large Tiger Shrimp caught my eye. I haven't eaten those in a while, I had to buy them. Deciding I wanted to grill them, I made a marinade with

Olive Oil
Fresh Chopped Garlic
Red Pepper Flakes
and Rosemary

wash the shrimp, pat them dry, add the marinade so it coats all the shrimp and let them marinate for about 30 minutes (or overnight if you prepare for the next day) in the fridge.

In the meantime start your rice. I use a rice cooker, best thing I ever bought, it gets the rice perfect all the time. Once you have rinsed the rice well, get it in the cooker, add the correct amount of water and press a button. Usually I add some salt and crushed garlic to the water as well, just to give the rice some taste. For this dish, hold off on the garlic. Just before the end of the cooking process I'll add in some saffron and a little piece of butter. The saffron gives the rice it's nice yellow color, the butter a bit of creaminess. Make sure you don't add the saffron too early, cause it gets bitter. Once you have that going move on to your spinach.

Chop up some more garlic, or use a garlic press, heat up a mixture of olive oil and butter in a pan, add the garlic and sweat for a few minutes, make sure it doesn't burn. Then add fresh spinach and just let it wilt in the pan, season with a bit of fresh ground pepper/salt set aside and keep warm.

The grill should be preheated, so it's nice and hot. Take out your shrimp, shake off excess marinade and grill about 2 minutes on each side until shrimp turn pink.

Arrange on a nice platter! And Voila..... Dinner!

Monday, February 1, 2010